What has fallen us again this time? Not the
winter but a night set to ditch out awards to
sports men and women who have been excellent
and consistent in the course of the year. It is no
other than the Nigerian Sports Awards ( NSA ).
Last year’s edition’s glamour was stolen by the
Paralympic athletes – as the duo of Kehinde
Paul and Lucy Ejike, who were gold medalist at
the Rio Paralympic Games against all odds
emerged as the Sports Man and Woman
And ahead of the sixth edition of the biggest
sporting award in the country which has been
billed for Friday, November 17, 2017 in Lagos,
and with no iota of disrespect to other award
categories that even include both Governor
Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and
Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom who will be
battling it out for the Governor of the year, we
take a look at who deserves the Sportsman of
the year between Basketball star, Ike Dihogu,
2017 ITTF Polish Open Champion – Aruna Qadri
and Super Eagles star – Victor Moses.Ike Dihogu
The Jiangsu Monkey King of China power
forward display at the last FIBA AfroBasket
Championship in Tunisia was a testament to the
fact that ‘age could at times be a number.’
Dihogu, who is D’Tigers’ captain was the only
member of the 2015 AfroBasket squad invited for
the title defence in Tunisia.
Though unable to lead a title defence, – as
D’Tigers lost out to host nation Tunisia in the
final 77-65, Dihogu was still able to manage a
game high of 20 points in the final.
Asides record game high points in the final, the
veteran recorded a tournament high 22 points per
game and averaged 8.7 rebounds per game and
it was by no chance or surprise when at the end,
Dihogu emerged as the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket
Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
With a total of 132 points and Nigeria’s highest
point scorer in four of the six games, Dihogu also
emerged as the Tourney’s highest scorer and
was also named on the All-Tournament Team.
Does Ike Dihogu deserve the Sportsman of the
The 2014 International Table Tennis Federation
(ITTF) Star Player of the Year is a household
name when it comes to Nigeria Sports Award.
The 29-year-old won the 2013 and 2014 Ball
Sports Personality, the same category he has
also been nominated for asides the Sportsman of
the year for 2017 edition.
The 2016 Olympic quarter-finalist had a
disastrous campaign at the ITTF Nigeria Open as
he was defeated 4-3 by Bode Abiodun in the
quarter-final of the championship. Undeterred by
the upset and ignominious campaign at the
Nigeria Open, Quadri righty predicted that the
future is still his.
“It’s the strongest open so far – it wasn’t as
expected. I gave all my best but it was a very
good game for Bode Abiodun but I strongly
believe the future is mine.” Quadri said.
Less than three months after the prediction,
Quadri against all odds and expectations became
the First African to win an ITTF open outside the
shores of the continent. He defeated Japan’s
Kali Yoshida in six sets (11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 6-11,
Quadri’s feet both on the African continent and
outside made ITTF describe him as a record
ITTF publication editor, Ian Marshall wrote after
Quadri’s feet at the Polish Open: “At the
Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup in Dusseldorf,
Quadri Aruna became the first player from Africa
to reach the quarter-final stage of the
“Just over one year ago in the Men’s single
event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he
replicated the feat. Against all expectation he
reached the round of the last eight.”
Also fellow Nigerian table tennis star, Omotayo
Olajide sees Quadri as a great leader.
He wrote this on his facebook timeline after
Quadri’s Polish Open triumph: “Continue paving
way for us and may God continue to empower
you … You are a great leader #respect# Aruna
With the remarkable feet at the Polish Open,
Quadri joined Omar Assar as the only African
players that represented the continent at the
Men’s ITTF World Cup that held in Liege,
Should the Sportsman of the year award go to
The 2013 Nigeria Sports Award Footballer of the
year has been one of the most consistent and if
not the most important player for Nigeria in the
His contributions to the National team was vital
in the quest for the country qualifying for her
sixth World Cup billed for next year in Russia.
The 27-year-old former Crystal Palace footballer
has also been one of the most vital players in
the Chelsea’s dressing room – raking up 40
appearances for Chelsea last season. With 28
starts and five substitution appearances in the
English Premier League last season, Moses
became the Nigerian with the most appearances
for a title winning team.
With loans to Liverpool and West-ham, Moses,
last season became one of Conte’s most trusted
and loyal disciples.
His contributions has been vital for the Blues as
many including club legend, Frank Lampard, who
believes Chelsea’s struggle prior to the Blues 1-0
victory over Manchester United last two Sunday
was as a result of the unavailability of the
Nigerian due to a hamstring injury.
Asides his nomination for Nigeria Sports Award,
Victor Moses has been nominated for BBC
African Footballer of the Year award and as well
in contention to win the Confederation of African
Football’s player of the Year award.
On his recent nominations, Moses, in an
interview with Goal.com said his teammates and
Manager have been vital for his recent
nominations. According to him, he wants to be
the best player not just in Nigeria but Africa.
“I am pleased with the position I am in today,
Moses said. “My manger and teammates helped
me and encouraged me. It shows how hard I
worked last year but it isn’t about being
nominated but winning.
“Whatever the outcome is, I know that I have
had a great year at the club and with the
national team as well.
“I was part of the first African team to qualify for
the World Cup as well which was good for us.
Every season I want to be the best I can be to
be Africa’s best player. I will do the best I can.”
With enviable records and statistics set by the
trio of Ike Dihogu, Aruna Quadri and Victor Moses
in 2017, it is a disrespect if any of them should
win the award at the expense of the other two.
But the truth is, one person must go home with
With what the duo of Dihogu and Quadri have
achieved this year, one do not need a soothsayer
to know that Victor Moses will emerge victorious.
No disrespect to Dihogu and Quadri feats, but
the fact that basketball and table tennis are not
as popular as football in Nigeria might give
Moses the edge.
Regardless, Dihogu or Quadri are still darlings of
Nigerian sports fans, and have equal probabilities
of winning. The media, especially, social media
will definitely be agog this with reports,
predictions and celebration for whoever among
the three excellent sportsmen wins the award.